For Donnie Nietes, age is a non-factor in his boxing career.
Treating his body as if it’s a temple of health, the 39-year-old four-division world champion said he’s ready for another title crack.
According to Nietes, he feels “like 29” heading to his World Boxing Association super flyweight title eliminator against Norbelto Jimenez of the Dominican Republic on December 11 at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai.
As in his 49 previous fights, however, Nietes (43 wins, 1 loss, 5 draws, 23 knockouts) is approaching the Jimenez fight with caution.
“I can’t be too confident,” said Nietes in Filipino. “Jimenez is no ordinary fighter and I should dish out my best performance.”
Aside from being nine years younger, Jimenez (30-9-5, 16 KOs) is three inches taller than Nietes and has also experienced the big stage being a two-time world challenger.
Showing no waning of his skills despite a 27-month layoff, Nietes, who bikes and swims for cross-training, beat Colombian Pablo Carillo last April and hooked up with fledgling Probellium, which lived up to its promise of giving him a big fight before the year ends.
Nietes said he has been sparring with bigger guys like former world title contender Jeo Santisima and is prepared to tangle with Jimenez in whatever style the Dominican would choose.
Having studied his opponent’s notable fights, Nietes bared Jimenez is susceptible for a counter as the Dominican has a tendency to leave himself open when throwing a punch.
Nietes, who’s leaving for Dubai with trainer Edmund Villamor on December 6, said he feels excited once again as he’ll be figuring in a title eliminator and will be fighting with compatriots Johnriel Casimero and Jayson Mama on the same card.
Casimero will be dangling his World Boxing Organization bantamweight belt against Briton Paul Butler while Mama will be challenging another Briton, Sunny Edwards, for the International Boxing Federation flyweight title. – Rappler.com